Photo by Joshua Rozells, showing the numbers of satellites crossing the sky at the Pinnacles in the remote outback of Australia
Last year at this time I had the good fortune to visit Death Valley, one of the emptiest and darkest places in the US. It was a chance to actually see the Milky Way. It was also a chance, given the miracle of modern phone cameras, to photograph the stars. But something happened on almost every photo when I looked at it. Streaks of light. Since then I’ve noticed similar streaks in most star photography. The cause? Satellites. In some photos they weave together, showing the network that is there in the sky, even in the remotest areas.
So there is no longer any place on earth that is unmarked by human hands. Nor in the heavens. The network of information that we have built around the earth that joins us together as humans is having its effects, some of them good, many not so much. As we come to the end of the Month of Creation called for by Pope Francis, it is a good time to ponder and pray about what we have made of creation. And about the effects that are growing so dire that they have led the pope to write a second encyclical about the environment, that will be coming out soon. Like the first, Laudato si, it will make its way through that network of communication in the sky, on the earth and under the earth. Let it be a call that is answered to use that great network we have built to heal the great network of creation, placed in our hands by our great creator God.